Uh Oh Milo! Picture Books
Kate Wogan speaks to Mumforce
We caught up with author Kate Wogan to find out about her picture book series, Uh Oh Milo! and how stories that can help teach good manners, can also be great fun
Uh Oh Milo! stories help grown-ups and small children discover new ways to learn about manners together; from gentle play, to table manners or remembering to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.
They’re an imaginative and creative way to start talking about little life-lessons, in a really fun way.
Here Kate tells us a bit more about the inspiration behind the books… with a few parenting tips to help you.
“My stories are based on my own children and experiences growing up. They are a bit older now, so they pretend to find it a bit embarrassing, but I know they’re really proud of the books. I based the main characters, Milo and Mary, on them and our magical granny is mostly based on my mother’s mum, my Granny. She was quietly awesome and had a way of making everything seem magical and fun, even on the dullest of days. I don’t remember her ever being flustered or cross.
The first three books were written to help parents with three things I know parents relate too; table manners, politeness and playing well together. Has there ever been a more relevant time to help parents tackle daily misdemeanors, in a stress-free way?
The way I approach this in the books, is in a really light-hearted way. There’s funny Uh Oh! moments, really cheeky characters and stories to make children laugh.
Some of the funniest, and most relatable, moments come from our Mischief Makers. They’re in every book and they’re based on mythical creatures, and they always cause the chaos that our heroes Milo, Mary and Granny need to tackle in each adventure. It was great fun thinking these up, they were inspired by all the fairy stories I’ve loved since I was a little girl.
Behind the scenes, I work with a team of mums to help make the Uh Oh Milo! books a reality.
We’ve put together some of our personal tried and tested tips for helping little ones learn manners, hope they help you too:
- Make learning fun! – We know that learning manners is hard, so making it something kids will enjoy, was the motivation behind the books. Stories, colouring-in, drawing… find ways to make their experiences come to life. Like my Impolite Imps. They were
definitely regulars in my house when my children were small, so I brought them to life
- Tackling those ‘Uh Oh!’ moments – We all know the ‘Uh Oh!’ moment, it’s when the mischief and misbehaviour gets out of hand and it’s right in the middle of each of our books. Distraction is a great way to tackle these moments, like Granny does in our books – she uses magic to distract from the chaos and then she steps in to save the day. Reading about right and wrong in a relatable way is also a really easy way to help children recognise bad behaviour
- Be gentle – We know it’s really hard, but a gentle story or talk is so much more powerful than a raised voice. And it gets the best result. Plus it’s less stressful for both of you.
- Learn together – If your child has a sibling, get them involved. It can be really fun.
That’s why it was important for Milo’s sister to join him on his adventures. Playing, learning and laughing together. It all helps.
- You can be a little cheeky (it’s fun) – In the books there’s a few burps and pants on heads! We find a giggle a day, keeps the manners away. Little ones love it and you’ll have lots of fun reading the cheeky bits together.
- Be patient – none of us learned manners overnight. Parents and grandparents everywhere spend years reminding their little ones to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.
Repeating it and a lot of patience will pay off. In the meantime, check out Granny’s magical manners pie… it could be the answer.
- And relax! – We’re in this together. Who’s found that even the most mischievous Milo or Mary, will be the picture of perfection around other people? We’ve all been there!
I hope you enjoy reading these tips as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.
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